Stella was a humble, unassuming Christian. She was virtually never absent from church. She paid her tithes and offerings; sang on the choir; volunteered for missionary work; read the word of God; fasted regularly; had a good prayer life; and witnessed to any and every one at every opportunity.
Her primary motive for serving God was her love for Him. She knew what she was before He cleaned her up and made her into somebody.
As time progressed, however, something changed. She became more concerned and critical about the ‘shortcomings’ of others. She could not understand why others failed to live for God as she did; and increasingly she became more intolerant.
Finally, without even realizing it, she had overlooked worship and praise to God, and instead was more concerned with noting every wrong committed by others. She began to compare herself with others and even saw herself as being more worthy of praise because of her faithfulness.
Not long after this her attendance at church became irregular. Her prayer life ceased and her tithes were now late, short and sometimes non-existent, among other things. In short, she had drifted from God.
On a fateful night, however, on the verge of stepping away from the Lord, He spoke to her saying, “Stella, my child, it is not about you, but about my will for you, and all mankind.”
Stella had forgotten that it was not by her merit that she would finish the race, but by His mercy.
All too easily, the adversary had infiltrated Stella’s tower. It was no longer built on the name of the Lord, into which the righteous run and are saved. But, instead it was now built on self.
The parable of the hypocritical, church going Pharisee and the repentant Publican reminds us not to think too highly of ourselves. But to constantly follow after the Apostle Paul as he affirmed, “I die daily” in his quest for the prize of the high calling of God.
Are you like Stella on the verge of loosing out on your hope because of self? Or are you constantly looking out for the adversary who is going about like a roaring Lion seeking to devour whom he may?
Keep following Christ until He returns in His glory to bring perfection unto us. Until then, we are still on the journey…